How common is cocaine use in the United States, and how many users seek treatment each year? Nationwide studies track the number of children, teens and adults who have tried cocaine or who are currently using this narcotic. There are also numerous studies on the number of addicts who seek treatment for cocaine addiction and on the number of rehab graduates who relapse. As you review recent statistics on cocaine addiction and rehab, remember that statistical studies are rarely 100 percent accurate. More importantly, statistics on cocaine abuse and recovery don’t necessarily reflect your own chances of getting clean and achieving recovery. Statistics are a useful tool for studying social trends, but only you can determine the course of your future.
Prevalence of Cocaine Addiction
The National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is one of the nation’s most important sources of information about drug use in this country. According to results from the 2010 survey:
- 0.2 percent of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 reported that they were currently abusing cocaine
- 1.5 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were current cocaine users (a decrease of 0.5 percent since 2002)
- 0.5 percent of adults ages 26 and older reported using cocaine
- In a comparison of cocaine use in men and women, males were more likely to use cocaine than females (0.8 percent as opposed to 0.4 percent)
The Drug Abuse Warning System (DAWN) is a national surveillance service that tracks the number of drug-related emergency room visits each year. Unlike the NSDUH, which relies on self-reported data from drug users, DAWN collects information from emergency departments throughout the country. This information reflects the number of incidents of injury, self-harm or overdose associated with any given drug each year. According to DAWN, in 2009:
- 422,901 emergency room visits were related to cocaine use
- 32 percent of emergency room visits involved cocaine as a single drug
- 68 percent of visits involved cocaine along with other drugs
- 34 percent of the cocaine users who were treated at the emergency room were admitted to the hospital for further treatment
Cocaine Recovery and Rehab
Relapse rates are high among cocaine users. Whether cocaine is snorted as a powder, injected or smoked as crack, the drug raises the level of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in the brain’s reward system by creating feelings of pleasure in response to certain activities. When you take cocaine, the euphoria and energy that you experience act as incentives to use the drug again and again. After repeated use, the brain needs even more cocaine to create the same sensations. When you stop using cocaine, the cravings are often overpowering. The Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies (DATOS) monitors the number of people in the US who enter treatment for drug abuse.
This service also tracks the outcome of treatment, including relapse and recovery rates. According to information collected by DATOS, the most effective way to treat heavy cocaine use is to enroll in a residential treatment program lasting at least 90 days. In a study of 1,605 patients who were treated for cocaine abuse, 49 percent of study participants reported using cocaine every day. One year after going through treatment at a residential treatment program, only 12 percent were using cocaine daily. Risk factors for relapsing or for failing to get treatment included:
- Using other drugs in addition to cocaine
- Having a history of alcoholism
- Being involved in crime
- Being unemployed
- Having a weak support system
- Having no medical insurance
The cocaine addiction program here at Axis offers individualized care for each of our clients. Statistics are important in the right context, but when it comes to something as important as your recovery, you need a personalized plan that’s developed with your unique needs in mind.